November 16, 1999
Complications followed a surgery to repair a ventral hernia, resulting in death brought about by bowel perforation and ensuing sepsis of the abdominal cavity. The Louisville vascular surgeon was accused of malpractice in nipping the bowel and not noticing the complication until it was too late. The Plaintiff asked for $931,486 in damages. The doctor, represented by Gerald Toner, successfully argued that the complication was widely-known and accepted, and that the hole in the bowel could have had other causal origins, namely an eroding suture from a prior surgery. The Jefferson County jury concluded the doctor had not violated the reasonably competent vascular surgeon standard and awarded the estate no damages.